African Dis­ney­land set for Vic­to­ria Falls in 2020

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - FRONT PAGE - PETA THORNYCROFT

VIC­TO­RIA Falls is the only cen­tre in Zim­babwe that is boom­ing, and it is go­ing to get even busier as Africa’s first Dis­ney­land will soon be built on the out­skirts of the town.

The num­ber of tourists head­ing to the town to see the as­ton­ish­ing falls has in­creased be­cause the ex­panded in­ter­na­tional air­port can now re­ceive larger air­craft and these can also land at night.

Vic­to­ria Falls is now poised to get “Dis­ney­land in Africa”, which will in­clude not only a dra­matic fun fair with spec­tac­u­lar rides, but also a tourism and con­fer­ence theme park, ac­cord­ing to Wal­ter Mzembi, Zim­babwe’s tourism min­is­ter.

“We have signed an over­ar­ch­ing agree­ment with some Chi­nese de­vel­op­ers for a mas­ter plan to de­velop 300 hectares of land be­tween the (Vic­to­ria Falls) air­port and Ma­sue River.

“We need to drive the con­ven­tion busi­ness and di­rect traf­fic to our­selves,” Mzembi said at a press con­fer­ence this week.

“Al­ready we are look­ing at 2020 where we are dream­ing of a $5 bil­lion (R65bn) tourism sec­tor in Vic­to­ria Falls alone.”

The con­cept of the Vic­to­ria Falls Dis­ney­land is based on sim­i­lar in­stal­la­tions in Cal­i­for­nia and Paris.

In­ter­na­tional air­lines, SAA, Ethiopian and Kenyan Air­ways all fly reg­u­larly to Vic­to­ria Falls with con­nec­tions to Europe and Cape Town.

Vic­to­ria Falls slumped af­ter political un­rest post 2000 but re­vived when an in­clu­sive gov­ern­ment came to power in 2009. – In­de­pen­dent For­eign Service

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